There are so many new birds arriving this time of year that I find myself taking shortcuts while birding. Here are 5 examples:
1) Ears only: When I’m walking through the woods I rely mostly on my ears to hear signs of bird activity. If I don’t hear anything then I keep moving.
2) Scanning for movement: I scan treetops for movement. I ignore common birds like robins and chickadees while trying to locate movement of warblers or other migrant birds.
3) Skip the list: Sometimes I don’t keep a complete list of birds if I’m looking for particular species. I just look for new species and don’t bother tracking birds I’ve already seen. Sorry eBird. I know that is frowned upon.
4) Right bird right location: After a while you get to know when and where you can find certain species of birds in your area. For example, Chestnut-sided Warblers can be tricky to find in my town so I went to the exact same spot I saw one last year and there was one waiting for me when I arrived.
5) Driving through the state forest at 5mph with my windows down and eyes wide open: this method allows you to cover a lot of ground that you wouldn’t be able to cover by foot.
I’m not thrilled taking shortcuts. I’d rather just get out there and walk about slowly savoring every bird I see but there is just so much to see right now and getting warbler neck (pinched nerves from looking up in trees) is no joke.
I need to get it out of my system before I can slow down again but that is something I am looking forward to.